By Troy Weller on April 24, 2014
The Philadelphia Phillies don't have the strongest farm system in the major leagues, nor do they a guy who is unanimously considered a future All-Star. Yet, depending on how the season goes this year for Philadelphia, some of the organization's top names could wind up playing for the big club in late summer. Here's a look at the Phillies' top five prospects and how each player's stock fares right now.
Outfielder Aaron Altherr's stock is up right now, especially considering he started the season injured. He's one of the Philadelphia Phillies' most intriguing prospects, as he's a big guy with a lot of speed. Altherr is batting only .211 in 10 minor leagues games so far in 2014, but he's show good patience at the plate as he works his way back from being hurt.
Shortstop Roman Quinn's stock is down solely because he isn't playing. Only about six months removed from surgery to repair a torn achilles tendon, he's nearing a return, but don't expect the Phillies to rush him back. Quinn is only 20, and has as much upside as any prospect in the organization. He needs to develop better at the plate, which will likely be a focus for him once he returns from the injury.
Shortstop J.P. Crawford exploded onto the scene for the Phillies last year after being drafted, and it doesn't appear that his first year in rookie ball was a fluke. Crawford is batting .288 right now for Single-A Lakewood, with an on base percentage of just close to .400. Crawford will continue to add power to his hitting repertoire, and all indications are that the 19 year old appears to be the Phillies' future at short.
Left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle has come out strong in 2014. He's 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in five games pitched, and opposing batters are hitting just .213 against him. His most recent outing included 10 strikeouts in seven shoutout innings while allowing only two hits. Biddle battled an illness for the majority of last season, so 2014 will be somewhat of a bounce-back year for him. So far, he's off to a great start.
After tearing through Single-A and Double-A last year, third baseman Maikel Franco has struggled with the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate in 2014. He's batting only .153 for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and has yet to hit a home run in 72 at-bats. Keep in mind that Franco is still only 20 years old, and he likely won't get called up to the big club this year unless they really need him.
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